Moe Driving Docs, Nurses out of Rural Sask: New CIHI data

Rural communities lost 21% of registered nurses since Scott Moe became Premier

SASKATOON - Today, the Official Opposition responded to new workforce data from the Canadian Institute of Health Information (CIHI). The most recent data shows that doctors and nurses have been leaving rural Saskatchewan communities in droves since Scott Moe became Premier in 2018.

“Our hometowns have the potential to be some of the best places in Canada to put down roots. There’s no excuse for Premier Moe to be driving doctors and nurses out,” said Official Opposition Leader Carla Beck. “Scott Moe just isn’t getting results for rural Saskatchewan. The Premier that broke our healthcare system can’t be trusted to fix it.”

According to CIHI, there were 2234 rural/remote registered nurses in 2018 when Scott Moe took office. The most recent available data shows that there are only 1760. That’s the largest dip in the nursing workforce in all the provinces studied at -21% since 2018. Rural Saskatchewan communities have lost 12 registered psychiatric nurses since Scott Moe became Premier. There were 755 across the whole province when Scott Moe became Premier in 2018, and now only 679.

Scott Moe is also not performing when it comes to the recruitment and retention of doctors (appendix). Kelsey Trail Health Region (Tisdale area), Prince Albert Parkland Health Region and Sun Country Health Region (Weyburn area) have all suffered a net decrease in family doctors since 2018.

During the same time period, Sun Country lost 25% of their specialists (from 4 to 3), Cypress Health Region (Swift Current area) lost 11% of their specialists (from 18 to 16), and Prairie North Health Region (Battlefords area) lost 29% of their specialists (from 24 to 17).

According to CIHI, Saskatchewan lost a net of 35 physicians (all types) to other provinces in 2022, the second highest loss among the provinces only next to Alberta (-72). British Columbia experienced the highest influx of physicians, gaining 112.

“It’s not just about money. We need to listen to our healthcare workers and change the culture that’s driving them to other provinces,” said Rural and Remote Health Critic Jared Clarke. “Local leaders know what’s best for their communities and deserve a seat at the table.” 

“The Sask. Party government has closed services, such as emergency rooms or laboratories, at a minimum of 53 different hospitals since Scott Moe took power,” said Mowat. “The longer the Sask. Party is in power, the further our friends and family will have to travel for care.”



Physician to 100,000 pop, 2022


All physicians

Family med






























CIHI – Physicians in Canada, 2022


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